Israel at Dubai Expo: another step closer to the Arab world

Participation 'reflects rise in Israel's status in Arab world'

16 December, 12:10

    (by Massimo Lomonaco) (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, DECEMBER 16 - Israel will be taking part in the Dubai Expo next year. It will be a historic event in that Israel does not have diplomatic relations with the federation in the Gulf though it has engaged in more frequent contact with it in recent years. The country's participation in the Expo, which will take place between October 2020 and April 2021, is thus another step in a direction in which Israel and Sunni-majority countries - Saudi Arabis especially - have been moving in order to resume relations, n part as deterrence against Iran and its allies in the region. Yuval Rotem, the general director of the foreign ministry, signed the participation agreement last week in Dubai. The agreement was praised by Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz as ''growth in the status of Israel both at the international level and between key states in the region''. ''This participation,'' Katz added, ''offers Israeli an extraordinary opportunity to show its abilities and results achieved in the field of technology aside Israel's lively culture.'' This is in line with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements in April - when talk was first heard of Israel's participation in the Dubai Expo - on how the event is politically important because it is further proof of Israel's rise in status in the area. Further proof of ever more exchanges is the news that a delegation of high-ranking Israeli officials from the justice ministry have travelled to Abu Dhabi to take part in an international conference on corruption. In 2018, the Israeli national anthem was played during an international competition in Abu Dhabi when an Israeli athlete won a gold medal at the Judo event. And now, according to a recent report in the daily Yediot Ahronot, the UAE is considering allowing Israeli tourists to freely enter the country from the beginning of the eExpo in October next year, something that is not currently allowed. An estimated 25 million visitors would be expected to go. According to the Xnet website, the Israeli pavilion, Gates of Tomorrow, designed by the architect David Knife (who also designed the country's pavilion at the Milan Expo alongside Avs), will resemble a sand dune with Israeli landscape photos and the country's achievements projected on large screens.

    (ANSAmed).

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